R2-D2 Progress

I’ve been printing a lot lately but not posting much. I’ll try to get back to a regular routine. The biggest thing I want to talk about is the progress on my full size R2 unit!

I’ve had the new printer running almost day and night working on the dome and I’ve been reading a lot on astromech.net trying to wrap my head around the various mechanics and electronics that will go into this project.

I’m printing the dome in PLA, it’s light and easy to sand. The dome won’t need a ton of strength as it doesn’t have any heavy load to carry like the shoulder and legs of the unit will. I have to figure out if I’m going to switch to a stronger material as I move down.

The first two parts (actually 7 pieces each) I printed was the upper and lower rings. Think of these as the neck of the unit.
The lower ring will attach to the body, the upper ring will allow the dome to turn. Between the two I have to mount a 17 3/8″ lazy susan that the gears will turn.
Next I printed the lower dome, which was 7 parts. I’ve also printed the various panels and bits that will go in the openings (not shown). Depending on how crazy I want to go all the panels can be rigged to open. To start I think I’ll stick with getting the holo-projector eye working.
Then I printed the upper middle dome, again 7 parts. Everything seems to be lining up well in the dry fit stage.

I’ve paused printing R2 to jump onto a couple of other projects and do much needed maintenance on the Monoprice. It’s almost back up and running which will allow me to keep motion on R2 and do other projects in the queue.

This leaves me with the upper dome and panels to print and the exterior of the dome will be done! I have countless hours of sanding, filling, priming, repeating ahead of me after gluing everything together. I’m testing a couple of options for glue to find what will work best for me.

This project has me really excited. Seeing it come together is a bit amazing and I’m looking forward to the learning challenge of the electronics and mechanics that will drive the unit, create sounds, lights, etc… I also look forward to sharing the journey with everyone. My goal is to have it done for May 4th, 2020 so don’t be shy to ask me for updates if I go silent. Sometimes I need a bit of prodding to keep on track.

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